Friday, March 30, 2012

bali bound

elodie and i are catching a midnight flight to bali. thankfully i talked to my best friend who takes her two small children from san francisco to jordan every summer. she had the most wonderful perspective saying, "children don't need to be entertained every second" which counters every travel with kids post i've looked at in the past few weeks. i think she has a point. if i am frantically trying to entertain her, sticking things in her face to keep her every move engaged, what am i teaching her about down time? discomfort is something we all have to experience at one point or another, like it or not. i set the tone of our travels with my energy. so today i am taking an extra long yoga class and will hopefully lead the way for her to relax, read books, sleep a little, cry a little, and just sit and hug mama. for 22 hours. eek!

all orders placed on the littlest shop will be shipped after i return on april 9th. see you on the other side!

palm springs, new years eve 2011 photo by bonnie tsang

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

a little piece of home

i'm finally starting to pack for our epic trip to bali this week! i am a bit hesitant to bring elodie's blankets but i know that having familiar items will be so soothing for her on the plane and in a new land. i have decided to bring a couple of her old aden and anais swaddle blankets and another of her favorites, now knowing i can replace it! i was introduced to dohar blankets by cleo, the owner of the fantastic los angeles kids's shop, tomboy. she goes to india every year and brings back the most delightful textiles. i even took one to london for my friend's baby shower last july. dohar blankets are extra soft because they are triple layered with the printed layer showing ever so faintly through the two outer layers. i finally found some comparable ones online at muny. besides the blankets, muny makes some adorable children's clothes as well.

Monday, March 26, 2012

the boater

spring is the perfect occasion for a straw boater hat. bobo choses made a cute one a couple of seasons ago but the cheap ones from the rose bowl work for us. our sweet neighbor anna gave elodie this one and she wears it everywhere. it really adds so much to an outfit right? reminds me of all the cute hats in mary poppins!

Friday, March 23, 2012

write your mama

i've been thinking of the many people in my life who fill me up so regularly but that i rarely take the time to thank. this typically makes me feel a bit guilty but i'm trying to stop those repressive thoughts and instead just take time to write them a letter. even two sentences is better than being incommunicado. i'd want two sentences from my favorite people, wouldn't you? i'm dedicating my 'downton abbey' hour to letter writing this weekend. sorry gossipy servants, i have real people to think about.

adorable cards by fugu fugu press

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

in bloom

yesterday was the spring equinox and i could have sworn i smelled orange blossoms in the air. this is my favorite time of year in southern california. the first pink buds of jasmine usually herald the beginning of spring with their intoxicating fragrance. then an onslaught of freesia, victorian box, and, my favorite, orange blossoms. all winter long i burn orange blossom candles and make simple moroccan cookies with orange flower water keeping vigil until the flowers make their spring debut. i rarely wear perfume but fell in love with an orange blossom fragrance that i found while staying at a small parfumerie in tulum called coqui coqui. michael, elodie and i went a couple of years ago and had the best time (and i developed quite the girl crush on the sweet owner francesca and her baby boy leon.) their signature scent is this orange blossom (or flor de naranja) and they spray the rooms and common areas with it. i took two bottles back and was just running out when my friend came through los angeles with a big bottle for me. i also love jo malone's orange blossom, tom ford's neroli portofino, santa maria novella's zagara and orange blossom water (which i got on our trip to italy last autumn), and le labo's fleur d'oranger 27 but they have hefty price tags in comparison with my beloved eau de toilette from coqui coqui. anyway, still waiting for the real thing but spring is just around the corner and it will be no time until the orange blossoms are blooming!

for a treat, add a splash of orange blossom water to this smoothie to make it extra amazing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

cheeky monkey

our friend brooke schwab took some adorable portraits of elodie while we were in marfa. i think this is my favorite one as i know that face so well. if you are in texas, make sure to look her up. she is a fantastic children and wedding photographer.

photo by brooke schwab

Monday, March 19, 2012

the rhythm of home

it was raining all weekend. a perfect excuse to cozy up to a good book, make food, and listen to records and do puzzles with elodie. thank you rain.

i came across this series by leanne shapton, a former art director for new york times op-ed page and a contributor to paris review. she seems like a fascinating person.

via keep feeling fascination

Friday, March 16, 2012

marfa blues

i think this is the first time i've had such strong post-vacation blues. we met four other families in the remote western texas town of marfa for a true get away from it all. there is something powerful about unplugging and just being in harmony with each other and the vast wilderness. the town and landscape are a stunning palette of muted colors set against a vibrant blue sky. we took the children to the chinati museum which almost gave our tour guide a heart attack - my advice, take your children everywhere. just do it. what's the saying? "those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind?" it's true. the children loved the flavins and just wandering around the old army barracks. it's a beautiful setting for a museum. words fail me.

the children got on swimmingly and elodie still talks about her time with stella, leon, gracyn, august and baby jack. one of the hardest things about being a grown up is having so many wonderful people in your life that you don't get to see every day. i miss our marfa crew but know that we will gather again one day soon.

michael put an amazing post on the flashdance with all of our instagram photos, click here to see it.

joslyn did such a wonderful job compiling a little marfa guide, i won't even bother! i would like to mention that if you are ever heading back into town late at night, try padre's. they have a surprisingly good bar menu (including yellow curry - yum!) and stay open the late.

a marfa playlist and 'real' photos to follow!

Monday, March 12, 2012

new items in the littlest shop!

do you like springtime as much as we do? i will be updating the littlest shop with some fantastic dresses, rompers and shortalls for all of your spring parties. please stop by!

Friday, March 9, 2012

take me back

my head is still in marfa, texas. i can't wait to do a full debrief including pictures. for now, i'm happy to say that i crossed every item off my marfa to-do list down below.

lots of art
good food
belly laughs
star gazing
pool time
mystery lights
afternoon naps
long walks in the middle of nowhere

check. check. check.

some great curated art over at mammoth and company that reminds me of marfa. i also love their selection for children over at the littlest mammoth.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

almost three and a quarter

it's been a while since i wrote to you my dear girl. i feel like i am always saying "this is my favorite age" and then all of a sudden you grab my face and say something that blows me away. this week i had the opportunity to tell a stranger about you and it really made me stop and think about who you are. you are kind, thoughtful, gentle and one of the most reflective people i've ever met. you have finally stumbled upon the genius of why? a way to learn so much about the world with one simple word. 

you ask, "why are you my mama? why you not D's mama (a boy at school)?" and i respond, "because you chose me as your mama before you were born" i know that might sound crazy to some but i really believe that you were meant for me and i was meant for you. it is not a mistake that you are here with us. 

at three and a quarter you love to do somersaults, ride a bike with training wheels, paint, bake and pretend to "run away from monsters." you adore your big girl bed, your two bears (blueberry and baby blueberry) and want to listen to the winnie the pooh soundtrack morning, noon, and night. 

you just started dance class a couple of weeks ago and have a fun time following your friend malena around but aren't that interested in actually doing any moves just yet. fine with me. it's a joy watching you gallop along and twirl around in your tutu. the ballet teacher asked all of you girls what your favorite color was and while most responded "sparkly rainbow gold" you said, "gray." i love that you are in your own world calling the shots. 

i'll admit, i'm trying to let go a little and let you choose your outfits (i am an art director after all) - it does get hard because you would wear the same polka dot dress and grey tights every day if you had your druthers. still, watching you dress yourself from head to toe with such confidence is such a treat. 

you this time last year (at two) 

two years ago (at 14 months)

and finally at 7 weeks old...

you were always there.

Monday, March 5, 2012

a simple meal: red lentil soup

two nights before our big trip i realized that we didn't have much in the refrigerator to use for dinner. i always keep my pantry stocked with grains, all kinds of lentils, veggie stock, an onion or two and garlic. soup is a family favorite and this soup, adapted from molly orangette's recipe, just becomes more flavorful by the day. i also try to keep some sort of goat's cheese/feta on hand as well as high quality olive oil and za'atar which one of my best friends from jordan turned me onto several years ago. there is nothing quite like a homemade soup and fresh warm bread dipped in olive oil and za'atar. give it a try!

red lentil soup

2-3 tbsp olive oil (you can also use coconut oil)
two cups organic red lentils
two quarts veggie (or chicken stock)
two sweet potatoes
two carrots
two cups water
2-3 cloves garlic
1 small yellow onion finally chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp tomato paste
juice of half of a lemon
a handful of spinach
cilantro (for garnish)

heat olive oil over medium heat

1. in a large pot, heat 3 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. add onion and garlic and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.

2. stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper, and sauté for 2 more minutes.

3. add broth, 2 cups of water, lentils and carrot. bring to a boil, then partially cover pot and turn to low. simmer until lentils are soft about 20-25 minutes. add handful of spinach near the end and salt to taste.

4. you can use an immersion or regular blender to purée half of the soup, leaving it a bit chunky.

5. add cilantro and a squeeze or two of lemon to each bowl and drizzle with good olive oil. enjoy!

Friday, March 2, 2012


i'm a huge fan of protective talismans and fell in love with illustrator and designer kaye blegvad's artful, delicate jewelry. also, how cool is this feather garland?

images here and here

Thursday, March 1, 2012

the great affair is to move

happy march! this is a big month of travel for our family. i swear i would be a nomad if my husband weren't such a cancer. we are heading to bali and also to marfa, texas. people keep asking why marfa? besides it's place in the world of contemporary art, seeing pictures from my friends' trip there made me say an emphatic yes when asked if i wanted to go. we will be joining three of my favorite families for a bit of wandering, mexican food, art, and mystery lights. see you on the other side...

"wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe”
- anatole france

and who can resist re-reading walt whitman's epic poem

images by our labor of love